CBD for strep throat? Study finds cannabidiol as effective as powerful antibiotics

SAN FRANCISCO — More and more people are turning to cannabidiol (CBD) products for their purported benefits when it comes to health and wellness. Now it seems the chemical compound may be useful when it comes to fighting illness: a new study shows CBD is an effective antibiotic treatment against the bacteria responsible for serious infections like staph or strep.

Researchers say that CBD, the primary non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, actually has a similar potency to powerful antibiotics like vancomycin and daptomycin.

Cannabidiol is a chemical that can be extracted from cannabis and hemp plants. It has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US for treatment of a certain type of epilepsy and is being tested as a treatment method of several other medical and mental health conditions. CBD is also available in some states as an ingredient in topical treatments for muscle pain and more.

The study, led by Dr. Mark Blaskovich at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, found CBD was effective at killing many Gram-positive bacteria, including strains that had become resistant to other antibiotics. Researchers also found that CBD did not lose effectiveness after extended use.

“Given cannabidiol’s documented anti-inflammatory effects, existing safety data in humans, and potential for varied delivery routes, it is a promising new antibiotic worth further investigation,” Dr. Blaskovich says in a statement. “The combination of inherent antimicrobial activity and potential to reduce damage caused by the inflammatory response to infections is particularly attractive.”

The paper was presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual conference in San Francisco.

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